First time home buyer? Here is what you need to know

It going to be a rough summer for many wanna-be homeowners, especially the first-timers. Buyers are facing stiff competition and bidding wars in the real estate markets that clearly favor sellers.

But that doesn’t mean you should abandon your dreams of home ownership.


Be realistic

You know those HGTV shows that make home buying look fun and super fast? The buyers only look at three houses, find their dream home and get an accepted offer within their budget, all on the same day. Yeah, that’s not how it works. “After seeing three homes, most buyers say, ‘wow, that is nothing that we want. We need to see more.'”

House hunting can be long, frustrating and exhausting. Open houses and home showings can take over your weekends and creep into your week nights, and checking for new listings online can become an obsession.

Don’t bite off more than you can chew

Experts recommended getting pre-approved by a lender before you officially start your search.

That can be a good starting point in figuring out what you can afford. But just because you were approved for a set amount doesn’t mean you have to spend that much. Creating a budget can help to determine how much money you’re comfortable spending each month.

Once you’ve figured out your ceiling, take the time to research the market to find out how far your budget will go. “Get realistic about what your money can buy,”

It can also be tempting for buyers to go above their budget when they fall in love with a house. But realtors say that can be a big mistake.

Play it cool at the open house

You’ve finally found your dream house. It’s perfect and you start coming up with your offer.

Be cool.

It helps to establish contact with the seller’s agent to start a rapport, but oversharing can create problems.

“Some of my clients are bubbly, and I have to reel them in,” . “Don’t give the listing agent too much information, you never know what they will use to negotiate against you.”

Be prepared for rejection

In many housing markets, sellers have the upper hand, which means competition is stiff — especially for first-time buyers.

“A lot of people don’t get their first offer accepted,”. Most first-time clients don’t make an offer until they’ve seen at least 15 homes.

While it hurts to get rejected, the process will get easier as time goes on.

Lay low once your offer is accepted

Once you have an accepted offer, your lender will start the underwriting process on your mortgage. Banks will scrutinize your finances and any big purchases might affect your qualification status. So lay off the credit cards, and don’t suddenly decide to quit your job.

“That purchase could push your debt-to-income level too high and you wont be able to close”